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Aurizon EA Negotiation Update No. 9

Oct 15, 2021Update

Your RTBU Locomotive Division negotiating team met again with Aurizon on Wednesday 13 & Thursday 14 October 2021 to bargain for a replacement agreement. 

Wednesday’s negotiations followed the normal process, with your team proposing further conditions and requesting Aurizon to discuss, provide feedback, and consider their position, either agreeing or putting forward a counter proposal. We had expected to receive responses on Thursday.  

When we reconvened on Thursday, your negotiating team was blindsided” as Aurizon indicated that they believed negotiations were exhausted and proceeded to provide their “final offer” in a presentation.  

Aurizon’s team proceeded through the presentation and alluded to the fact they would not have any further opportunity to continue negotiations.  

Your Negotiating team advised Aurizon that their decision was premature as the RTBU Locomotive Division had not had an opportunity to consider, compile and deliver their final  position. Your Team also advised that we did not think Aurizon’s approach would be well  received by members, nor would they see it as acting in good faith. 

Your team highlighted that the RTBU Locomotive Division had written to Aurizon on 16  February 2021 inviting negotiations to begin around 10 May – 6 months prior to EA expiry date. Aurizon wrote back on 1 March 2021 advising that negotiations would not commence until  Shift Work Solutions conducted a review on the hours of work within the NSW Coal Operations. It wasn’t until 1 July 2021 that Aurizon wrote to commence the negotiating process and proposed meeting on 21 & 22 July 2021.  

We also advised that had negotiations commenced earlier, then we may have been further  advanced and in a position to put forward an in-principle agreement for members to consider, but unfortunately, we are not in that position now. 

During negotiations we have discussed and arrived at a position on several clauses however  we still have a number of clauses we are apart on. 

Potentially improved clauses include: 

  • The introduction of Roster E & Version 3 and protecting a return to the 76-hour duty cycle if the roster is not working
  • A 12-month trial to gather data to see if Roster E & Version 3 is feasible
  • A day in lieu option when working on a Public Holiday
  • An assurance for single Annual Leave days – limited to 5 per year
  • Lift Up & Lay Back – Standalone payment if outside of rostered zone
  • Trauma Leave increased from 2 days to 5 days where a fatality occurs

Proposed clauses currently not agreed include: 

  • Lift Up & Lay Back – Standalone payment for any alteration to sign on time
  • Inclusion of a Labour Hire clause limited use to ensure permanent employee’s employment remains secure
  • Ensuring the Redundancy clause utilises the pool of volunteers and retraining or relocation before progressing to involuntary including no forced re-location
  • Increasing severance pay to 4 weeks for each year of service capped at 52 weeks
  • Trauma Leave applying to serious incidents or accidents including where no fatality occurs, (i.e. – Neat Misses, Level crossing accidents without fatality)
  • We proposed a locality/retention allowance for Quirindi depot t o increase pay parity as 3 other depots can access DP allowance and the geographical area does not allow DP (Aurizon proposed Bank Engine/DP allowance – RTBU to consider further)
  • Pay increments per year and Term of agreement
  • Signing on duty between 1601 and 0359 – Any mainline operations involving a Second Person for 10-hour limit, adding Driver in training for 11-hour limit
  • Updating of Locomotive Cab conditions

Please monitor your emails for further invites as we will hold more TEAMS teleconferences in the upcoming weeks once we see if any further movement on clauses above.  

Newsflash updates will continue as Enterprise Agreement negotiations progress. 

If you have any questions, please contact your local rep or your Locomotive Division Organiser via mobile or email 

Download a copy of the Newsflash here.